Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Delaware State University at the Delaware Public Archives

Screen capture of some DPA materials on the
Delaware Heritage Collection.
Written by: Cale McCammon

The DSU Archives isn’t the only repository with materials relating to the history of the university. We maintain a working relationship with the Delaware Public Archives (DPA) and often refer researchers if we don’t have what they’re looking for.

If you need information on DSU’s buildings, you may not even have to drive the few miles down the road to DPA as they’ve digitized appraisals of various buildings around campus, as well as some photographs.

DPA has many other materials relating to DSU that intersect with records of the Delaware state government. Their website and contact information can be found here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Treasure: Portrait of Mrs. William C. Jason

Mrs. William C. Jason, ca. 1911(?).
Written by: Emily Cottle

As we highlighted in a post back in March, the Archives received a large transfer from the Office of Alumni Relations that included, among other things, large quantities of photos.

During processing, we discovered the portrait, included here, of Mrs. William C. Jason, the wife of the second president and the library’s namesake, Dr. William C. Jason. It appears to have come from the photograph collection of Charles C. Showell and be from around 1911.

We have very little information about Mrs. Jason in our collection, but this beautiful portrait is certainly a treasure that we wanted to share with our readers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Course Catalogs

Written by: Cale McCammon

Cover of the 1947-48 catalog.
While a selection of recent course catalogs is now available online, the Archives has a run of the course catalog from 1947 to 2006. In addition to containing descriptions of courses, which may be useful if you ever need to provide proof of what you learned at DSU, the catalogs also provide comprehensive trivia about the university across many academic years. This information includes descriptions of the physical plant, the rate of tuition, the academic structure of the university, and the curricula of each discipline. The early catalogs even outline some of the university’s policies on student life which really demonstrate how times have changed. Here are some regulations from the 1947-1948 catalog:
  • “The College encourages simple and inexpensive dressing for all students. They are expected to wear warm, comfortable clothing, and to refrain from the use of wearing apparel that will endanger their health or that is inappropriate.”
  • “No young lady may receive ‘off campus’ men friends without the approval of the Matron or Adviser to Women.”
  • “Any student who marries while enrolled in this College without first receiving permission from the president may be asked to withdraw.”
Whether you need to reassure someone about that course you took years ago or whether you want to be reminded that student life has in many ways gotten easier, you are sure to find what you need in our collection of catalogs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Staff profile: Leigh-Anne Yacovelli

Written by: Leigh-Anne Yacovelli

Leigh-Anne processing materials from the Office of Public
Relations collection.
My name is Leigh-Anne Yacovelli, and I am very excited to begin my short time here at the Delaware State University Archives and Special Collections. As a recent graduate, my experience working in an archives has been limited. In addition to what you can read in my bio, I was also asked to answer a few more questions. Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below.

DSU Archives: How did you decide you wanted to work with archives and special collections?
Leigh-Anne: I learned the value of online access to collections while an undergrad at APU. The history teachers required the use of primary sources for every paper, which was extremely difficult since so little had been digitized and made available on the Internet. I came to realize that in every town there is a relatively unknown collection (or two or three!) tucked away in all sorts of places, from volunteer-run historical societies to universities such as DSU. I felt a library science degree could teach me how to improve visibility of, and access to, these collections, so that others can enjoy and learn from them.

DSU Archives: What excites you the most about working at Delaware State University?
Leigh-Anne: I get really excited when I think about the opportunity I have to dig through the history of the university and add material to the Delaware Heritage Collection. This is a chance to find and showcase items that feature DSU, both the institution and its people’s contributions to national, state, and local events.

DSU Archives: What are your favorite materials to work with, and why?
Leigh-Anne: I like working with photographs and documents equally. There are things that can be said about both that show how difficult it is to pick one over the other. You see, photographs provide visual clues to not just the people, but also their surroundings. They freeze images for future generations to see things ranging from clothing and hairstyles to room furnishings, all within the context they appeared. Since most photographs are not arranged like paintings, where clues to people’s personalities, hobbies, and lines of business are deliberately included in the image, historical documents can provide this missing information, as well as other bits of valuable information like facts and figures of events (and even the names of the people in the photos!), to help researchers learn more.